Conflict. Defeat or feeling defeated.
This card will appear when we are feeling pretty hopeless. It gives a no-win situation, yet the battle seems to rage on regardless. Part of the problem here is that the battle was pointless to begin with. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. There could be an unconscious memory of defeat from a similar situation. I've seen this card appear again and again in relationships that are doomed to failure. The problem stems from a basic incompatibility of values and ideals. If you're asking whether to proceed with a situation this card suggests that it doesn't matter either way. If you don't try you'll feel defeated and if you do try there's a good chance you'll lose whatever it is that you want. Yup. Hopeless.
Venus in Aquarius which represents detachment in love and often with the five of swords there is a situation that needs loving detachment so that a different perspective may be obtained.
Examples With Other Cards
With the Three of Swords, there isn't any more that you can do. Accept your limitations. The Ten of Swords would indicate that your back is against the wall, and you may be forced to make a decision to free yourself from an oppressive situation.